A Week In Waterloo, ON, On A $47,600 Salary

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Today: a student/regulatory consultant/fitness instructor working in health who makes $47,600 per year and spends some of her money this week on yarn.
Occupation: Student, Regulatory Consultant & Fitness Instructor
Industry: Health
Age: 22
Location: Waterloo, ON
Salary: $41,600 (consulting), $6,000 (fitness instruction)
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $1,408 (consulting), $50–$200 (My paycheque amount for instructing depends on how many classes I teach a week.)
Gender Identity: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $600 (I rent from my parents while I'm in school.)
Student Loans: $0 (I've lived with my parents all the way through university and worked, so I'm debt-free.)
Spotify: $7
Phone: $60 (for my share of the family plan)
Netflix: $14
Tax-Free Savings: $300 (The balance is around $3,500.)
Emergency Savings: $100 (The balance is around $4,000.)
General Savings: $200 (My banking plan rounds up my purchases to the nearest dollar and scoots the money over to a savings account. Then I put in an extra $40 a week to use for fun things.)

Annual Expenses
Amazon Prime: $40 (for the student plan)

Day One

5:50 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I drag myself out of bed to go to the gym. I take a circuit training class three or four times a week, and my gym membership is free because I teach classes as a side hustle.
7:45 a.m. — I take a quick shower at the gym, then stop for coffee on my way to my morning lecture. I pack breakfast and lunch, but if I leave coffee in a travel mug while I work out it gets nasty and stale and tastes like sadness. The coffee I stop for on the way to school is hot and fresh and tastes like WAKING UP. I scarf down my banana and granola bar in the drive-thru line and listen to the latest episode of my disease podcast, This Podcast Will Kill You. $2.85
10:30 a.m. — Class is done, and I stop at a specialty yarn store. I'm in the middle of knitting a blanket for my boyfriend, L., and it's turning out to be bigger than I thought. $27.17
1 p.m. — At work, I spend an hour catching up on emails and voicemails. I swear, the emails are reproducing independently at this point. Since I left work at 4:30 p.m. yesterday, over 100 messages have shown up. WHY?
2 p.m. — I run to Staples for printer ink and card stock. My job has morphed into also being the office manager, so I do things like this pretty often. We're a small company and everyone does a lot of things. Don't worry, I negotiated for a raise when I took on the admin work. ($91.45 expensed)
4:30 p.m. — On my way home, I drop off a prescription at Shoppers and pick up a Starbucks gift card to stick in the mail for a friend who just got a new job. $15
6:30 p.m. — I make myself rice and beans for dinner and walk my dog. I get some reading done for my classes, then spend the rest of the night watching Ali Wong's Baby Cobra and John Mulaney's The Comeback Kid, while finishing up the blanket for L. My evenings are usually not that exciting, and I've finally accepted that staying in and working on old-lady crafts is what makes me happy.
Daily Total: $45.02

Day Two

5:50 a.m. — Every single time my alarm goes off at 5:50 a.m., I resist the urge to throw my phone across the room and go back to sleep. I think I'm getting my period, so instead of going to spin class with the notoriously tough Wednesday instructor, I hop in the pool and swim laps.
8 a.m. — My willpower is non-existent this morning. To go with my coffee, I buy myself a breakfast sandwich from Tims, my go-to for hangovers, my period, and generally bad days. $8.65
12:15 p.m. — My boss and I head out to an early lunch after a morning meeting that neither of us really needs to be at. I get fish tacos and a beer, and she has a burger and a margarita. We decide our gossip sesh counts as professional development and put it on the company card. ($64.23 expensed)
3:45 p.m. — On my way into class, I stop for gas. My parents pay for car insurance while I'm in school, and my car gets pretty good mileage, but I drive AT LEAST 50 kilometres a day between home, work, and school, so I'm currently spending a lot of money on commuting. It's FINE. $30
8:05 p.m. — I'm back at the gym to teach my class. I'm covering last-minute for another instructor, and I don't usually teach this class. I have a surprising amount of fun.
9:20 p.m. — I stop at the grocery store and grab mint tea, honey, and tampons. Why yes, my uterus IS making this purchase, thanks very much. I take a quick shower at home and go through my evening skincare routine, which consists of an oil cleanse, a water cleanse, toner, retinol, spot treatment, and moisturizer. L. calls me, and we chat for an hour before I crawl into bed with tea and a heating pad. $14.62
Daily Total: $53.27

Day Three

5:50 a.m. — Yep, my period has arrived. I stay home from the gym this morning and get an extra 45 minutes of sleep because I feel horrible.
8:30 a.m. — I have class first thing today. My professor is great, but I'm so crampy and tired that I really don't get much out of the lecture. I'm always annoyed with myself when I drive all the way to campus and don't make good use of my time. I make a note in my planner to email my prof for clarification later today, when I've had a chance to get notes from a friend.
11:45 a.m. — I'm at work, and L. stops by on his lunch break with a latte and Advil. I might marry him.
2:30 p.m. — A conference call with a client goes long, and my coworker does most of the talking. I browse the Lush website while we're talking and end up buying shampoo, body lotion, shower gel, and a couple bath bombs. Note to self: Don't do self-care shopping when you feel this horrible. $44.97
7:30 p.m. — I meet my best friend N. for coffee. She's just gotten back from a work trip, so we talk for a couple hours until the coffee shop employees start giving us dirty looks for hogging the table after only ordering two teas. We make plans to go to my university's football game this weekend. My school is playing her old school, so we've got a friendly rivalry going on and decide whomever's team loses will have to buy the first round of drinks next time we go out. $2.95
Daily Total: $47.92

Day Four

5:50 a.m. — My best gym friend is teaching a weights class for the first time today, so I join in and love it. It almost makes me forget that I'm awake and working out at this ridiculous hour.
7:45 a.m. — I stop for a coffee on my way to work and eat a protein bar in the car. I have a couple of meetings first thing, so I won't be able to eat at my desk while I work through my mountain of emails, like I usually do. $2.65
3 p.m. — My meetings go extremely well. I would hope so because I had to sign multiple NDAs to be in them, and they lasted for almost six hours. Afterwards, I duck out of work to head to — you guessed it — my lecture for today.
5:30 p.m. — I stop at the LCBO on my way home from class and grab a bottle of wine to treat myself for making it through the week. Working full-time and going to class part-time is wiping me out, and I'm only a week into the semester. It's my last term, and I managed to turn my summer job into a real job, so I'm going to make it work if it kills me. I can't turn down full-time work that's more or less in my field of study, so here I am.
8 p.m. — I have a bubble bath while drinking my wine. Then I crawl into bed, where I try to read but fall asleep immediately. $15.95
Daily Total: $18.60

Day Five

11:15 a.m. — I literally can't remember the last time I slept this late. It's amazing. After coffee and oatmeal, I order my mom birthday lipsticks from Boosh, an Ayr-based beauty company she loves. My dog and I take a delightfully long walk around the neighbourhood, and I listen to two full episodes of my true crime podcast, The Teacher's Pet. $26.60
3 p.m. — L. and I are going to dinner at his parents' place tonight, so I stop by the LCBO and pick up a bottle of the same wine I was drinking last night. This purchase prompts my banking app to send me no less than four notifications that it might be a duplicate purchase. I JUST LIKE THIS WINE, OKAY? $15.95
9 p.m. — After dinner with L.'s parents, we go see 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. I get the tickets and he gets the popcorn and drinks. The movie kind of sucks and the theatre is empty, so we make out in the back row for a bit before leaving early to fool around at his apartment. $25.40
Daily Total: $67.95

Day Six

9:25 a.m. — L. and I have a lazy morning. We drink an entire pot of coffee and watch Galavant, which is horribly bad but somehow addictive. I make us French toast, and he gives me a foot rub, and then suddenly its 2 p.m. and we're still on the couch.
4 p.m. — L. and I decide we might as well stay on the couch, so I order us pizza, and we don't do anything but eat, drink beer, and watch this awful show for the rest of the day. $30
Daily Total: $30

Day Seven

5:50 a.m. — Back at it again. My friend teaches this morning class and it's fine. Not, like, great but fine.
8 a.m. — You probably already know what I'm going to say. I stop for coffee and eat breakfast in the car. Today it's a pear and yogurt. If you've never tried to eat yogurt while driving on the highway and simultaneously singing Fleetwood Mac at the top of your lungs, I wouldn't recommend it. Using a spoon while driving is harder than I thought it would be when I grabbed this breakfast. $2.65
11:20 a.m. — Not only does my statistics professor teach his own textbook, he also forces everyone to buy the updated version with the online access code to do your homework, so I go to the campus bookstore and pick up my pile of loose papers that they have the audacity to call a textbook. What is the point of loose-leaf textbooks, anyways? Who decided that NOT PUTTING THE BOOK TOGETHER was the best way to do this? Also, I have some thoughts about spending nearly $130 for the privilege of doing my homework. I already gave the university several thousand dollars this semester for tuition; you would think homework would be included in that. $125.44
1:50 p.m. — I eat leftover pasta for lunch in between classes and text with L. He's also in classes all day and is done after this semester, so we message about trips for a joint graduation present to ourselves/each other. I vote for Italy; he wants to road trip to Vancouver.
9 p.m. — I have to stop for gas, and I grab a jug of wiper fluid while I'm there, because they're on sale. My parents always tell me to keep every kind of fluid my car could possibly need in the trunk JUST IN CASE, never mind the fact that I have no clue where the coolant goes and probably couldn't even figure it out with the owner's manual to help. $47.90
10:30 p.m. — I order denture cleaning tablets from Amazon. I don't have dentures, just to be clear. I used to brush my night retainer with toothpaste, but my dentist told me that's not good for it, and it gets so gross so fast when I'm only rinsing it. The internet told me denture cleaners work really well, so here's hoping. Before I crawl into bed, I decide to skip the gym tomorrow and make sure my alarm is set for the reasonable time of 6:30 a.m.
10:45 p.m. I watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy and go to sleep. $5.67
Daily Total: $181.66
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